FILLING UP: Jeremy Chequer puts fuel in his car on Friday.
FILLING UP: Jeremy Chequer puts fuel in his car on Friday. Rob Williams

Fuel prices reach new high in Ipswich

FUEL prices in Ipswich reached a record high in 2018 as motorists across Queensland were stung by rising costs at the bowser.

A report released by the RACQ revealed the average daily price for unleaded petrol in Ipswich reached a new peak of 167.2 cents per litre in October.

The city also recorded a new high for average monthly price at 157.3 cpl in that same month.

Record high prices for unleaded fuel were also observed in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and 25 of the 30 regional centres monitored by RACQ around the state.

Only Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Blackwater, Emerald, Goondiwindi, Longreach and Mt Isa recorded higher average daily prices than Ipswich.

The RACQ's Lucinda Ross said the creeping cost of fuel hit Queensland families hard.

"We saw the average price of unleaded in Ipswich jump 17 cents per litre since 2017, to 143cpl last year," Ms Ross said.

"Prices also hit record highs across the state in October 2018, with unleaded reaching an average of 167.2cpl in Ipswich.

"Fortunately, it was followed by a significant drop of about 30 cents which brought much welcome relief to motorists.

"We know fuel is a big expense in Queensland households, so an increase of a few cents can equate to forking out more dollars every time we fill the tank."

She hoped the state government's two-year fuel price reporting trial, which was introduced in early December, would force retailers to bring down their prices.

"In the southeast corner, fuel operates on a price cycle, going from cheap to expensive and then back again," she said.

"With the fuel price reporting trial now in effect, we hope we'll see average prices start to drop across the board in 2019.

"However, fuel is a volatile commodity which is heavily influenced by several domestic and international factors."

Ms Ross said consumers needed to support retailers that are offering the best deals.

"Petrol prices are currently hiking in Brisbane and Ipswich, and we expect other areas in the south east to soon start following suit," she said.

"There's still plenty of cheap fuel available and we urge motorists to only fuel up at service stations offering unleaded for 115cpl."

While filling up on Friday, Ian Linsket of Raceview said it was worth it to find the best price, even if it meant driving past other servos to get to the cheapest retailer.

"I'm willing to drive further to get the best price," Mr Linsket said.

"It is worth it in the end. You save in the long run."

The RACQ's Fair Fuel Price for unleaded at the time of print was set at 110.7 cpl with the price trending upward.

Drivers turn to app to find cheapest petrol prices

MORE than 28,000 people have downloaded the RACQ Fair Fuel Finder app in an effort to find the best price at the bowser.

The state government brought in a two-year fuel price reporting trial at the start of December.

It was introduced in an effort to enable Queensland motorists to compare fuel prices in their local area and track down the cheapest.

RACQ's Lucinda Ross said they were seeing more retailers reporting their prices timely and accurately.

"It's still early days into the fuel price reporting trial but so far we believe it's progressing well," MsRoss said.

"Among those are a large number of independents offering cheaper prices compared with the bigger companies.

"This initiative was something we lobbied long and hard for and we hope the transparency will generate greater competition, which we know is the key to driving down prices."

She said drivers needed to support the retailers offering a fair price.

"The outcomes of the trial really do rely on all Queenslanders giving their business to those retailers offering the best bargains, so we encourage everyone to make an educated decision," she said.

1400 retailers on board with fuel price trial       

JUST over a month since the state government introduced its petrol price trial, over 95% of petrol retailers have come on board.

A Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy spokesperson said almost 1400 retail sites are now reporting up-to-date prices, which was hailed as a "real win" for Queensland motorists.

"The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy is very appreciative of the good faith fuel retailers have demonstrated and we continue to actively work with the small number of remaining retailers to get them on board as soon as possible," they said.

"Due to the goodwill shown by industry groups RACQ, Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA) and the Australian Institute of Petroleum and their members to date, the fuel price reporting trial is meeting our expectations to make available more fuel prices to motorists.

"The department worked closely with industry stakeholders and fuel retailers to get them ready for the change and with a sharp focus that reporting would not be a burden on their business."

There are already four apps and websites now available for motorists to shop around and save by finding the best price for fuel; namely MotorMouth, PetrolSpy, RACQ Fair Fuel Price and ServoTrack.